Gone are the days of 3D glasses. As with any technology that comes new to us, we marvel at their great performance capabilities the first time around. However, when a piece of technology remains in development for many years, one wonders as to when they can experience that particular technology again. Here, we are talking about the development of holographic projection. We remember the first time we saw them; leaving our mouths open in awe. Holograms have been around for quite some time and there are various types of holograms and holographic projection.

Holography is the science itself of making holograms. The two common types of holograms are reflection and transmission holograms. Other variants include hybrid holograms, embossed holograms, integral holograms, multichannel holograms, computer-generated holograms and a various others. The application of holograms itself can be found in many areas and used by many professionals, such as researchers and industry designers, to test as well as design many new technologies. For example, supermarkets and department stores use a holographic lens system to direct laser light to merchandise barcodes, aeroplane pilots use holograms for navigation, and medical doctors have a wide range of uses for holograms, including three dimensional holographic CAT scans to make critical measurements i.

Modern uses

With today’s technologies developing so rapidly, we can find more sophisticated uses of holography. One particular instance is Holographic Displays and Technology. Nowadays, we tend to project these holographic images into a realistic environment without the need of printing them on paper. With this type of new technology, not only can we project exact and accurate still images, but we can also project live videos. Real life-sized initial images and videos are then projected onto an area with or without a screen.

Further use of this incredible technology incorporates the use of live animations and viewer interactivity. It is as if we are talking to a “real” person or object, with the only real disadvantage of not being able to physically touch it. Holographic Displays and Technology is really revolutionary as it can virtually decrease the use of other current technologies that require similar processing. Not only can we get that “wow!” factor but it also leaves an ever-lasting impression on people for a very long time.

How it works

In its simplest form, a reflection hologram is the typical 3D image we can find in galleries and even products such as children’s trading-card games and stickers. These holograms are lit by white incandescent lights. When we hold these holograms at a certain angle and distance, light reflected by the hologram produces a 3D effect resulting in the image we see. These holograms are displayed in colour and the image effects we get can be made “sparkling” or as a mirror-like reflecting imagei.

Diagram showing how a reflection hologram works
Fig 1. Diagram showing how a reflection hologram works

On the other hand, a transmission hologram is viewed with laser light. The light itself is projected behind the hologram and the image is then sent over to the viewer’s side. The result we get can be of relatively high quality with sharp and detailed effects. One example of this is if we take any still or animated object and project it through a small hologram, the resulting image can be seen as a “window”. When we break this hologram into smaller parts by covering it using a piece of paper with a hole in it, we can still see the entire scene through each piece. In regards to the position of the holes, a different viewing experience can be seen. In addition, if a second laser beam is projected backwards towards the original first beam through the hologram, a life like image can then be projected towards a screen, which is found at the initial position of the projected objectii. This is perhaps one major breakthrough in this field of holographic technology.

The method of producing a transmission hologram
Fig 2. The method of producing a transmission hologram

Final words

For those of us who wish to apply this technology, various companies have made their services available in this area. They provide a vast array of functionality and technology for use in entertainment, business, education and even product presentations. Holographic technology has really changed the way we see things. From illusion to reality, there is a classic saying “seeing is believing!”.